Biology Placement Exam

Exam information

January 26, 2022:

During the Winter 2022 and Spring/Summer 2022 semesters, we will be continuing to administer placement exams remotely.  Please see below for the testing schedule and registration instructions.

May 5th, 2022:

If you are a new First-Year student starting at Wayne in Fall 2022 and registered for New Student Orientation you have already been registered for the placement exams.

Refer to the information below about the exam, but do not attempt to register. The directions you need to take the test is in the New Student Orientation Canvas class.

If you have questions about Orientation go to Orientation - Wayne State University

Please note:

  • This is a test for placement into WSU Biology classes, NOT for course credit. If you are interested in credit by exam, please visit the CLEP page for more information.

The purpose of the Biology Placement Exam is to determine appropriate course placement for introductory biology coursework.  Several introductory courses at Wayne State University (WSU) are taught with the expectation that the student has attained a certain level of prior knowledge and skill in the subject. Placement tests have been designed to ensure that you have the required prior knowledge before taking a class. It is better to be placed into a lower level course by an examination than to fail a higher-level course for which you are not adequately prepared. Prepare to do your best by reviewing the material on the web sites indicated and getting plenty of rest the night before your exam(s).  

The American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores in reading, writing, and mathematics are used to determine placement into BIO 1050, 1500 or 1510. 

ACT Composite Score

SAT Reading + Writing + Mathematics Scores                   
(March 2016 and later) 

24 or higher = placement into BIO 1500/1510

1160 or higher = placement into BIO 1500/1510

23 or below = placement into BIO 1050

1150 or below = placement into BIO 1050


  1. The ACT or SAT scores used may not be from an exam taken more than two years prior to enrollment in the course.
  2. If you have taken the ACT and/or SAT more than once, only the most recent score will be considered. If the most recent ACT and/or SAT scores were taken during the same month and year, the highest score will be used.

As an alternate or additional method of placement, a student placing into BIO 1050 via the ACT or SAT may take the Biology Placement Exam if he/she wishes to attempt placement into BIO 1500 or 1510. Students who have not taken the ACT or SAT or have scores more than two years old must take the Biology Placement Exam to determine course placement.

The Biology Placement Exam is a computer-based, 50-item multiple-choice test. For remote testing, examinees will be given 90 minutes. No aids are permitted. You may take the Biology Placement Exam once per semester, and examination results are valid for three semesters. The examination content is based on a one-year high school biology course that included a laboratory. Resources to help you prepare for the exam are available at

Rescheduling, refunds, and fees

  1. The examination fee is $25.00.
  2. You may reschedule a test registration a maximum of three times per fee payment.
  3. A refund can be processed only if it is made before the day of the examination. Requests for refunds made on or after the examination date, or after the third reschedule, cannot be honored.
  4. Examination fees not rescheduled or refunded are subject to forfeiture after one calendar year.
  5. Test fees are subject to change without notice.

Prior to and on the day of the examination 

For remote testing you will be sent detailed instructions by 6:00 p.m. the day before the exam. These instructions will be sent to your WSU access ID email address. If you do not find them in your inbox, check your Junk or Spam folders. If you have not receieved them send an email to and they will be resent the morning of the exam. 

The test will be administered through the Canvas Learning Management System.  You log into this system using your own WSU Access ID and password. Scratch paper is allowed.

For in person testing, bring your WSU OneCard, or government-issued, current, signed, photo-bearing identification (e.g., driver's license, state ID). The identification presented must be an original document.  Valid identification is required to test. You will also need your WSU Access ID and password.  Scratch paper and a pencil will be provided.  Be on time. Late arrivals will not be admitted.

Examination schedule

Exams taken during the Winter semester are valid for Spring/Summer 2022, Fall  2022, and Winter 2023.

Exams taken during the Spring/Summer semester are valid for Fall 2022, Winter 2023, and Spring/Summer 2023.

  • Beginning May 23, 2022, the test will be available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday except for dates that fall on or are affected by University holidays. It may be taken at any time during the day, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

  • All available dates will appear in the online test registration system (ASTRO).The last date for Spring/Summer 2022 classes was May 4, 2022. The last date for Fall 2022 courses will be August 26, 2022. NOTE: We do not recommend delaying until this last date.

You must register for the exam in advance according to the following guide:

  • Monday test dates – the preceding Friday
  • Wednesday test dates – the preceding Tuesday
  • Friday test dates – the preceding Thursday

Once a test date has closed, it will no longer be displayed in our Automated System for Test Registration Online (ASTRO).

How to register for an examination

New first-year students will be registered through Orientation. Do not follow the steps below without consulting Orientation first.

  1. Online registration: Click the "ASTRO" button on the bottom of this page.  This will lead you to the online registration system where you may pay the $25.00 fee with a credit or debit card and choose your test date. You will receive two email confirmations: one for your payment and the other for registration. 
    • Your payment receipt will be sent to whatever email address you put into the payment system.
    • Your registration confirmation will be sent to your WSU access ID email address. 
      • The registration confirmation will come from
      • DO NOT reply to this email.
    • There may be an up to two hour delay before your registration is finalized. If you do not receive both emails within two hours, or have any questions, please contact the Testing and Evaluation office at 313-577-3400 option 1, or 
  2. In Person Registration: ***NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE If you wish to pay your test fee(s) with a check, money order, or WSU OneCard, come to Testing, Evaluation and Research Services, Room 686 Student Center Building, 5221 Gullen Mall (map). Make your check or money order payable to Wayne State University. You may also use our public computer to make your credit card payment. Cash will not be accepted.

Special accommodations

If you have a documented disability that requires testing accommodations, you will need to register with Student Disability Services for coordination of these accommodations. The Student Disability Services (SDS) office is located at 1600 David Adamany Undergraduate Library in the Student Academic Success Services Department. To schedule an appointment, call 313-577-1851. Information about SDS can be found at .

Do not click this link if you are a new first-year student. Consult with Orientation for your instructions.
Click ASTRO to go to our online registration system once you have read and understood the above instructions